2009 Can Mayol Loxarel "Gran Reserva de Familia" Brut Nature Penedes (1.5L)
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Gran Reserva de Familia is a traditional blend of the three Cava grapes produced by the traditional method (but it's not a Cava, it's a Penedès sparkling wine), which aged in contact with the lees in bottle for 50 months with no dosage. The nose is full of fennel, flowers and aromatic herbs, with hints of orange peel that made me think of a chalky barrel-fermented white, more a white wine which happens to have bubbles. Those are the flavors you find in the palate, certainly unusual but they give it a completely different and welcomed personality, a Penedès that made me think of Anselme Selosse. Superbly-priced too. Bravo!
Can Mayol, which bottles under the trademarked name "Loxarel," is a winery that has been farming organically for more than a decade. The Mitjan family, owners of Can Mayol, also employ some biodynamic treatments. They keep animals, including chickens, a horse and a donkey named Garnatxa. While the focus is on "Brut Nature" (no dosage added) sparkling wine production, they also produce some very interesting still wines as well. In their chalky, high altitude vineyards (above 2,400 feet for their highest vines, among the highest in the Penedès D.O.), Xarel-lo, Macabeo, Parellada, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive and pick up an incredible minerality, which makes these wines wonderfully distinctive and very exciting to drink. Featuring some of the property's oldest, most prized parcels of Xarel-lo grapes, the Gran Reserva sees more than 6 years on its lees. This is very impressive bubbly that we can honestly say gives a lot of Champagne at twice the price a real run for its money.